What better way to criticize your political opponents than by accusing them of creating an oppressive government that will lead to the coming of the Antichrist and fulfill biblical prophecy on the Last Days?
Warning about the imminent end of the world may seem extreme, but it is a great way for media personalities, politicians and activists to rile up and instill fear in their base. Whether such arguments are purely cynical or genuine, in 2014 many conservative pundits cited the End Times to back up their denunciations of everything from gay rights to the so-called ‘War on Christmas.’
The Obama Presidency
After leaving Congress, Michele Bachmann hopes to become a major conservative voice on foreign policy issues. Among her qualifications, apparently, is her knowledge of the End Times. Bachmann has warned that the Bible prophesied the president’s foreign policy decisions, arguing that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are “calling for actual war and economic war against Israel, or at least suggesting it as such.”
“The nations of the world will come against Israel, and the scripture very specifically says all nations. Now for the United States, we don’t have that experience until recently under President Obama with the United States not standing with Israel,” Bachmann said in an interview with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, adding that the Jewish community “sold out Israel” in order to “support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president.”
Pat Robertson became so concerned with Obama’s term in office that he called on “700 Club” viewers to “pray to be delivered from this president,” warning that America will face “serious decline unless something dramatic is done about it.” Televangelist Matthew Hagee feared that Obamacare would condition people to accept “the kind of global dictatorship that is described in the End Times” and take on the Mark of the Beast.
Pastor Franklin Graham suggested that God will bless Russia thanks to Vladimir Putin’s leadership while removing His favor from America as a result of administration policies that are “pushing the gay-lesbian agenda.” “Our president and his attorney general have turned their backs on God and His standards, and many in the Congress are following the administration’s lead,” Graham said.
Pastor Mark Creech, who is affiliated with the American Family Association, wrote a column for the Christian Post implying that Obama is the Antichrist who will surface “in the last days – the day before Christ's return.”
Radio host Rick Wiles dedicated an entire show with Jonathan Wright to discussing how the “Bible Code” proves Obama is the Antichrist and even offered the strongest evidence yet that Obama is either the Antichrist or his forerunner: a fly once landed on him.
Following the lead of Republican politicians who cynically turned the Ebola outbreak in West Africa into a campaign issue, only to have their incendiary rhetoric about Ebola (and Ebola-tainted urine) subside after the Fall election, many conservative pundits and pastors used Ebola to stoke fear about imminent dictatorship, divine punishment and the end of the world as we know it.
Televangelist John Hagee told viewers that the Ebola virus is God’s way of showing his anger with President Obama’s foreign policies, while his son Matthew Hagee suggested that the Bible pointed to Ebola as a sign of the End Times. Another televangelist, Jim Bakker, offered a special discount on survival food items, including desserts, in case Ebola and other calamities bring down the country.
The doomsday prophet Glenn Beck — who raised fears about Nigerian prison guards possibly spreading Ebola to Texas and suggested that Obama doesn’t mind Texans contracting Ebola since it is a conservative state — was pretty sure that the Ebola outbreak is the beginning of God’s judgment on the country and America’s imminent collapse.
Several GOP members of Congress issued claims that Obama will intentionally infect Americans with the virus, while others made completely baseless allegations that Ebola-infected immigrants are descending upon America.
WorldNetDaily, a bastion of right-wing conspiracy theories, at different times alleged that Obama wanted Ebola to spread throughout the country in order to justify his purported plans to establish gulags, lock Americans in FEMA camps and declare martial law.
Far-right radio hosts alleged that Obama wanted to “round up patriots,” ban churches and aid Ebola-infected ISIS fighters, and one Fox News personality said Obama hoped to use Ebola to make America “suffer” while helping his African brethren. One prominent right-wing radio broadcaster, Janet Parshall, said God used Ebola as a “warning” because “he is a gentleman.”
Of course, gay people were also to blame. “Trunews” host Rick Wiles said God will use Ebola to give gays and others an “attitude adjustment,” and pastor Ron Baity, who worked with the Family Research Council to champion his state’s ban on marriage equality, said homosexuality is responsible for the Ebola outbreak since it is “bringing the judgment of God on this nation.”
Gays Rights Victories
Ebola, it turns out, was just one way that gay people, along with supporters of gay rights, tried to usher in the global calamities leading up to the End Times.
Deryl Edwards of Liberty Counsel pointed to growing acceptance of gay Christians as a sign that we are “in the Last Days.” Mission America’s Linda Harvey claimed marriage equality is one reason why “we’re heading into the End Times, and it sure looks like we may be, or the end of America — or both.” Michael Bresciani of the Christian Post said God will use terrorist attacks to punish the country for accepting gay rights. Pastor Flip Benham maintained that homosexuality “destroys those who practice it and nations that approve of it.” Rick Wiles predicted that gay rights will lead to an all-out nuclear war.
Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Dwight McKissic said athlete Michael Sam’s decision to come out of the closet shows that “the spirit of Sodom would be prevalent and prominent in the end time,” since, McKissic claims, “the Anti-Christ would be a homosexual, or certainly unmarried.”
“This is the moral issue of the End Times,” pastor Scott Lively said of homosexuality, lamenting in a radio show interview that “it’s just astonishing how rapidly they are proceeding in homosexualizing the whole world.”
Addressing the National Organization for Marriage’s Washington D.C. rally, Mike Huckabee said that “there is no doubt in my mind” that the U.S. “will feel His hand of judgment” if the courts strike down bans on same-sex marriage. Another speaker at the event, pastor and Pennsylvania politician Sam Rohrer, predicted that the legalization of same-sex marriage will “destroy the very fabric of our nation,” “invite God’s judgment” and “remove His blessing from our nation.”
Televangelist Pat Robertson — who had a banner year of blasting gay people as “terrorists” and demonic — marked Thanksgiving by warning that gay rights are “sowing the seeds” of America’s “destruction.”
Not only did we learn this year that the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was responsible for America’s withdrawal from Vietnam, but the landmark ruling is also apparently paving the way for the Last Days.
“The Response: Louisiana,” the upcoming Baton Rouge prayer rally hosted by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and sponsored by the American Family Association, republished materials from its 2012 Houston event featuring Texas Gov. Rick Perry that blamed abortion rights and homosexuality for natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and for contributing to America’s “ultimate destruction.” (After the materials caused controversy, organizers removed them from their website). Mike Huckabee similarly warned in a speech reflecting on the Holocaust that abortion rights and marriage equality will lead to the collapse of civilization.
Michael Bresciani assured Christian Post readers that the deleterious effects of climate change actually have nothing to do with the environment at all. Instead, Bresciani writes, incidents of extreme weather are just “‘birth pangs’ for a planet about to meet its creator” as legal abortion, along with homosexuality, brings “the antichrist to his short lived rule over a reprobate and dying world.”
In a column published on BarbWire, Bresciani claimed that “gay marriage and abortion, Obama’s preferred social causes, are antichrist in nature,” warning that the “Bible says that when a nation chooses to ignore its sinfulness, God will not only allow them to go reprobate, but will empower them with rulers who will enable them to succeed in their drive to destruction.”
End Times preacher Jonathan Cahn linked abortion rights and same-sex marriage to the September 11 terrorist attacks and a looming “great shaking” from God, and the Oak Initiative said legal abortion led to “the alien invasion” on America’s southern border as “a sign of divine judgment.”
Joel Rosenberg, a prominent Religious Right author who focuses his work on End Times scenarios, told Pat Robertson that legal abortion has turned the U.S. into a worse country than Nazi Germany, warning viewers: “We know the judgment that came on Nazi Germany, and we feel like it was correct, it was just. What do we think is going to happen?”
The War on Christmas
Conservative activists often celebrate Christmas by claiming that they are being persecuted by store clerks and neighbors who dare to say “Happy Holidays” as part of the annual "War on Christmas."
A distraught Franklin Graham warned “the war on Christmas is a war on Christ and His followers” and described it as a satanic plot that may one day lead to violent anti-Christian persecution.
A Renew America columnist said the “war on Christmas” and “the growing disrespect and outright mocking of one of Christianity’s holiest days” is linked to biblical prophecies about the End Times: “While Christians in other nations like Iraq, China, and Iran are being murdered in the most gruesome of ways for their faith in Jesus Christ, America allows Him to be mocked and ridiculed. What kind of people have we become to allow this travesty? God's Word says that ‘in the Last Days, scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires.’ (2 Pe. 3:3 NLT).”
“Friends, what we are seeing is the reason America is not mentioned as a world power in Bible end times prophecy,” writes J.P. Sloane in the far-right outlet BarbWire. “As America continues to travel down the Paganistic heathen slope of perversions—and atheists attacking Christians and Jews—while Muslims are celebrating their holidays in the very capital of our country—yes in our very own White House—Christmas—a legal American holiday—is under attack on a regular annual basis!”
Christian Anti-Defamation Commission President Gary Cass told radio host Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries that “the spirit of Antichrist” is behind the mythical War on Christmas.